Teaching with Primary Sources–MTSU will be presenting two poster sessions at the 2017 National Council for Social Studies Conference in San Francisco, November 17-19. One session will feature two new lesson plans on immigration to America, developed by TPS veteran teachers Barbara Marks (Watertown High School) and Taylor Kilgore (Whitwell Middle School). The other session will feature TPS–MTSU’s wide range of resources exploring the expansion of citizenship from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement. Marks’s lesson plan includes a section on reformer Jane Addams, shown here (image courtesy of the Library of Congress).
Our 2016-2017 annual report highlights the Center’s accomplishments and those of our largest program, the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area. We are grateful to our partners and our students for all of their contributions to a very rewarding year. Be sure to read about our field work projects, digital resources, publications, exhibits, resource surveys, heritage development plans, and teacher workshops.
A dedication ceremony will take place at the Carter Hill Battlefield Park in Franklin on Friday, November 10, at 1:00 p.m. Center Director Dr. Carroll Van West will be one of the speakers. The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area provided matching funds for the new markers that have recently been installed at the park.
The Center certified sixteen new Century Farms in October. Located in all three grand divisions, the farms include two 200-year-old farms, the Cathey Family Farm in Maury County and the Aurelia Acres Farm in Williamson County. New Century Farmer Marianne Blackwell, a Rutherford County Conservation Farmer and Master Beef Producer, celebrated her farm’s centennial as well as her donation of a conservation easement to the Land Trust for Tennessee. The new farms are being welcomed on the Tennessee Century Farms Facebook page.
Staff and students participated in the “Universities, Slavery, Public Memory, and the Built Landscape” symposium hosted by the University of Virginia and the Slave Dwelling Project in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week. Graduate research assistant Tiffany Momon presented her paper titled “The Black Majority: The Act of Claiming Black Academic Spaces Through the Transformation of Slaveholder Residences,” and graduate research assistant Victoria Hensley presented her study titled “These Enslaving Walls: Slavery and the University of North Carolina.” Center director Van West, MTSU archivist Donna Baker, and MTSU alumnus Rachael Finch also presented papers.
The Center is partnering with Wolf Gap Education Outreach in Giles County this year to examine the county’s rich historic resources for interpretation and education. Paying special attention to the county’s African American communities, we will develop a driving tour and interpretive plan of some of the area’s lesser-known sites to tell a more complete story of the county through time. Several graduate students are working with Programs Manager Lydia Simpson on the project.
The Center for Historic Preservation is partnering with Knox Heritage and the West View Community Action Group to highlight the historical significance of a district of African American cemeteries just west of downtown Knoxville. We will be creating new interpretive signage on site, as well as a walking or driving tour brochure to better incorporate this powerful story of African American entrepreneurship during Reconstruction and Jim Crow into the story of Knoxville today.
We are excited to be partnering with the Soulsville Neighborhood Association in Memphis to highlight the rich resources in their neighborhood. These include Royal Studios, home of Hi Records, where stars such as Al Green rose to fame and, along with producer Willie Mitchell, pioneered a new “Memphis soul sound” in the 1970s. Artists still record there today, perpetuating the musical legacy of Soulsville.
We always recommend that prospective students and potential partners take a look at our blog posts to get a better idea of what the Center is all about. In a recent post on Revisiting Montana’s Historic Landscape, Dr. Van West shares some spectacular images from vast Beaverhead County in the southwest corner of Montana. Roads Less Traveled in Beaverhead County emphasizes the significance of transportation in such a remote place. On Southern Rambles, Lydia Simpson recounts her recent visit to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for community outreach. Open Secrets: Preserving a Controversial Past looks at community efforts to preserve and promote the Secret City.
CHP staff and students have recently launched several projects with partners in Memphis as that city seeks to use its heritage for greater cultural and economic development. Among the projects that will share the city’s remarkable African American, music, and neighborhood history will be a driving tour of the Soulsville neighborhood. Soulsville is home to Centenary United Methodist Church, which hosted the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., during the Civil Rights movement.